Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Outside your household and socialising between households, the highest place in incidence of likely transmission, measured by where people have contacts, is unfortunately hospitality.
“Now obviously that finding is not good news in terms of the policy action we have to take for that sector.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We are seeing coronavirus cases rise across the entire country but they are rising faster in the North East and the North West.
“We are keeping the data under close review and we are considering a range of options to reduce the spread of the virus in order to protect communities and to protect the NHS.”
He added: ”Early data does suggest that a significant proportion of exposure to the virus is seen in the hospitality sector, and that is even more pronounced in younger age groups where we have been seeing the most rapid rise in infection.
“The data is new and we will continue to gather evidence and review it.
“Any decisions we take will not be made lightly; protecting jobs, particularly the two million in the UK’s hospitality sector, has been a priority throughout our response to the pandemic.”